Each week we spotlight the news shedding light on the world of Chinese cultural travel.
London’s Lunar New Year celebrations —the largest outside Asia— center on the annual Chinatown parade with accompanying lion dances, taekwondo demonstrations, and fireworks. Visit London used its Sina Weibo channel to host social media competitions, advertise special offers such as hotel discounts, and present a promotional video of Londoners wishing viewers a “Happy New Year” in Chinese. The UK DMO is also working with Chinese KOLs to create holiday content based on their experiences in the capital. The year-on-year development of these efforts have made London one of the most appealing places to celebrate the Lunar New Year outside of China and it’s little surprise China-London trips for January 2020 have increased 55 percent.
A whitepaper by Nielsen and Alipay shows Chinese tourists in the U.S. increased mobile spending by 15 percent. Transaction volume continues to increase with Chinese travelers paying by mobile an average 3.4 times out of 10 payments in 2019, up from 3.2 times in 2018. Vendors surveyed in the paper recognized the positives of mobile payment systems not only for facilitating payment but in areas such as store operations and digital marketing. This trend is only moving in one direction and museums and cultural institutions should prioritize providing Chinese mobile payment systems.
Tourism operators have reported a surge of cancellations over Lunar New Year as Chinese travelers — Australia’s largest tourism market — are deterred by raging fires and smoke blanketing Sydney and Melbourne. Chinese travelers spent $8.3 billion in Australia last year with January and February constituting close to a quarter of all visits. Besides devastating some of the country’s major attractions, such as East Gippsland in Victoria and the Blue Mountains Botanic Gardens in New South Wales, the natural disaster is severely damaging Australia’s brand appeal as a destination of great scenic beauty.
Edited by Richard Whiddington